RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK
(Now open in August and September)
For many decades the hunting preserve of the Princes of Jaipur and offers a fascinating combination of crumbling monuments, living temples, wild beauty, and your best chance to spot a wild tiger. Set within a high, jagged escarpment, Ranthambhore Fort has towered over the park's forests for nearly a thousand years and has witnessed many a bloody combat -- even the Mughal emperor Akbar fought a battle for supremacy here in the 16th century. Inside the fort, lie a number of ruined palaces, step wells, and a celebrated Ganesha temple visited every year in September by two million pilgrims. But it is the forests, that lie shimmering in the gorges below, scattered with more ancient crumbling monuments that attract the foreign pilgrims, who come during the winter months to catch a glimpse of the mighty Bengal tiger. The Park generally remains closed from July to September however the Rajasthan Forest Department has just issued a decree to reopen Zone 6 to 10 in the months of August and September as well.
Ranthambore is accessible from Jaipur via a 4 hour drive and a 5.5 hour train ride from Delhi. There is a range of accommodation from the very luxurious Aman Resorts, The Oberoi Vanyavilas to the environmentally sensitive Khem Villas.